The RCN are today calling for a clearer focus on the prevention of infection and antimicrobial resistance in 2016.
Supported by NHS England, the RCN and the Infection Prevention Society (IPS) are launching a revised Infection Prevention and Control Toolkit, aimed at reducing infections and managing the risks associated with antimicrobial resistance.
The toolkit highlights the importance of sepsis and its two main causes – pneumonia and urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are estimated to be responsible for a third of all health care associated infections (HCAIs)  <#_ftn1> and a leading cause of ill health outside of hospitals.
The RCN and IPS hope that all providers of health and social care will use the toolkit to plan the delivery of care services in the future.
Rose Gallagher, Professional Lead for Infection Prevention and Control at the RCN, said: “Greater attention to preventing infection will go a long way in saving lives and reducing the risks of antimicrobial resistance developing further.
“We are calling for NHS England and the Government to focus on two of the most common infections experienced by the general public in order to have the maximum impact.
“Infections are not confined to hospitals, and can be caused by a variety of bacteria, affecting people of all ages and placing a considerable burden on all health and social care services. Success will require joint leadership and collaboration between national and local health, social care and public health organisations.
“A challenge of this size requires a clear, effective national plan of action. This toolkit is the first step towards reducing two serious burdens of infection in England, combatting antibiotic resistance and, most importantly, improving public health and patient care.”
Professor Heather Loveday, President of the IPS, said: “The Health and Social Care system must provide a safe environment and level of treatment for patients to retain public trust. Focusing on the prevention of healthcare infections is a key part of the UK strategy to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
“This toolkit is the result of work by practitioners in infection prevention and control and commissioning organizations and aims to provide a valuable resource to enable commissioners to continue ensuring that no person is harmed by a preventable infection.”